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RESEARCH PARK, NORTH POINTE KEYS TO GROWTH
By David Hendrick, Daily Progress staff writer, May 25, 2006
 
By the Numbers The University Of Virginia Research Park could one day employ as many as 10,000 people on its 562-acre campus.

   

 

Few entities are likely to play larger roles in the development of the northern reaches of U.S. 29 in Albemarle County than North Pointe and the University Of Virginia Research Park.

If approved, North Pointe would bring about 900 homes and large swaths of retail development to 269 acres off U.S. 29.

A new lane likely would be added to each side of U.S. 29 for the length of the development, as well.

The already bustling University of Virginia Research Park is still in its early stages, and could one day employ as many as 10,000 people on its 562-acre campus.

The Northern Charlottesville Business Council received an update on both projects Wednesday afternoon, as leaders of each development showed area business leaders how each project had evolved and what role each was likely to play in remaking the area.

At present, the future of UVa’s research park is more certain.

North Pointe Developer Charles Rotgin recounted his lengthy tango with Albemarle County officials in putting together the project, the inklings of which were formed 25 years ago.

The latest North Pointe project went before the Albemarle County Planning Commission last week, but action was put off until a June 7 work session.

Some planners have questioned the project’s strict adherence to the county’s neighborhood model.

But Rotgin insists the project complies with all applicable principles and would put much-needed residential development in the growth area, thus slowing build-out in rural areas.

Across U.S. 29 from the proposed development, growth at UVa’s Research Park continues space, with almost all of its latest, still under-construction 85,000-square-foot building already pre-leased.

Occupancy rates at the six completed buildings is nearly 100 percent, according to Tim Rose, CEO of the University of Virginia Foundation, the real estate arm of the university charged with developing the project.

The research park often finds itself in the enviable position of turning down otherwise qualified businesses that would like to locate in the development, Rose said.

Before leasing space, multiple UVa administrators must agree that a prospective firm “has a relationship with UVa and it makes sense to have them in the park,” he said.

As space at UVa proper is increasingly at a premium, movement of certain workspaces from UVa to the research park is also projected, Rose said. 

Contact David Hendrick at (434) 978-7277 or dhendrick@dailyprogress.com